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Major gameplay mechanics suggestion: Crews, and skill

martin uzz
RJ: Martinuzz
CO: martinuzz

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Joined: Apr 16, 2012
I would really like to see more encouragement for diversity and specialization in the game. I've just had an idea, and would like to hear your opinions on the matter.

What if..
Let's say you need crew for some things...

1) Purchasing crew.
The purchasing crew's experience level would actually influence the quality of the products bought. An inexperienced crew will decrease the quality of the items bought (by handling them without proper care). So, the first time you buy a product, it will have crap quality, and you might have trouble selling it at a profit. For every (product-specific, pre-determined) quantity bought, your buying crew will gain experience in that product category, but they will lose skill in all other product categories at the same time. I say category, because I think that the game's current product categories, as used in the B2B and Import market, are well suited for the purpose of determining specialization here. But perhaps it could even be done per specific product.
Experience gain should be capped to a certain amount per tick (day?)
Skill levels could range from 0 - 100%
At 0% skill, there would be a LOT of quality loss for the product bought.
At 50% skill level, there would be no quality loss.
At 50-100% skill level, there would be a slight increase even in product quality, which should be linked to your Influence (hey, a real use for that!). You could think of this as a way to represent brand, and private labelling.
Apart from rewarding specializing on a niche, this will encourage the manufacturing business as well

2) Research crews
Every lab you build would get it's own seperate crew.
Every m^2-hour spent on researching a specific topic increases research skill of that product for that lab's crew, while decreasing the crew's skill for other products researchable by that lab. Said decrease should be somewhat less severe than the gain, to allow for some flexibility. Furthermore, every new lab of the same type will add an extra specialization bonus to any lab of that type. Building different types of labs will not affect other research labs negatively though.
Higher skill will decrease research time. Having no skill for a certain topic does not penalize anything though. You just won't get a time bonus.
The specialization bonus of having multiple research labs of the same types affects all products in said labs, decreasing research time.

3) Retail crews
Every store gets it's own crew.
When selling a certain product category, retail crews will gain skill in that specific product category, while losing skill in other product categories.
Having high skill in a certain category will artificially increase demand for said category.
Having very low skill in a product will even slightly decrease demand.
This can be thought of as representing product presentation, and product familiarity

Basically, I think these 3 changes will increase diversity and encourage specialization in the game. I left out the manufacturing process, for I think the current EoS mechanics there are already good enough, as they are. Besides that, the purchasing crews will indirectly encourage manufacturing as a whole, and with that B2B activity.
Please, discuss

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